At this special time when the Church invites us to engage in a new missionary “going forth”, we, the young men and women of the Vincentian Marian Youth Association, attempt to respond to that call by following the example of Mary who had absolute trust in her son. We also attempt to respond to that call in the same way that Saint Vincent did, that is, committing our lives to service on behalf of those men and women who are poor.
We have gathered here in Salamanca under the words, Evangelized, we evangelize! and we recognize the fact we are called to adopt a challenging and inspiring lifestyle. Such a lifestyle should allow people to see that we have identified ourselves with God’s plan, that we are always on a journey, and that we have placed our total trust in God.
We want to express our response to this call by reflecting on the various dimensions of our life. We also want to outline some very simple and concrete lines of action that we hope to make a reality during the next five years.
1. SPIRITUAL LIFE
We need to recover a contemplative spirit which can help us to realize ever anew that we have been entrusted with a treasure that makes us more human and helps us to lead a new life (Evangelii Gaudium, #264).
1.1. We will maintain a deep prayer life on both an individual as well as a community level (rosary, lectio divina, participation in the sacraments, prayer chain, etc.). We will engage in this prayer in such a way that it becomes an essential and natural part of our life.
1.2. We will continue to be awed by the discovery of the richness of spiritual accompaniment, an opportunity for discernment and for an encounter with Jesus.
1.3. We will continue to deepen our development of a spirituality focused on the magnificat and our Marian Consecration in order to rediscover the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness (Evangelii Gaudium, #288).
1.4. We will deepen our understanding of the treasure contained in our Marian-Vincentian spirituality and we will attempt to make others aware of said spirituality. In this way, as we live out the virtues enumerated in our International Statutes, we become contemplatives in action.
To form oneself is to engender Jesus in others, or rather, it is to engender others for Christ (Saint Bernard 51:9, 567)
2.1. We continue to insist upon the development, the revision and the updating of our various formation processes and desire that the social doctrine of the church become a priority.
2.2. Create a national team that will become responsible for the organization and the realization of such a formation program
2.3. We commit ourselves to putting on the web page of the International Secretariat (http://www.secretariadojmv.org) formation material that can be utilized by every group.
2.4. We want to deepen an understanding of the role of the Advisor in the VMY and we will give greater publicity to the document that is being written.
3. APOSTOLATE AND EVANGELIZATION
The joy of the gospel is our mission. Just as the Church was born from Jesus’ side in order to go forth and make disciples of all people, so all the VMY was born from Mary’s womb in order to evangelize in accord with its charism, spirituality and unique style. We are convinced that all of us are called to take part in this new missionary “going forth” (Evangelii Gaudium, #20).
3.1. Within the ecclesial context we encourage the creation of creative processes of “going forth” to the peripheries: families, culture, politics, the work place and the means of communication.
3.2. We will offer reflection papers to the young men and women in order to help them read and understand recent ecclesial documents about the new evangelization (specifically, Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si).
3.3. We encourage concrete experiences of involvement in the school of the poor in order that we might be evangelized by those individuals who are our lords and masters.
3.4. We recognize the fact that evangelization is not only a proclamation of good news but is also a denunciation of the injustices that overshadow the world. We can do this by cooperating with the various extant ecclesial and civil institutions.
3.5. We will motivate young men and women to be protagonists, utilizing informal preaching as a strategy of evangelization (Evangelii Gaudium, #127-128).
3.6. We will actively and generously participate in the promotion, preparation, and carrying out of popular missions.
4. VINCENTIAN COLLABORATION
We have the privilege of belonging to the Vincentian Family. As we follow in the footsteps of Saint Vincent de Paul we are invited to see Christ in the poor and the poor in Christ. Our unique place in the Vincentian Family gives life and hope to the continuation of this extraordinary charism which originated almost four hundred years ago. We are invited to go out in order to encounter and collaborate with the other members of this family to which we belong.
4.1. We will promote an understanding of the origins of Vincentian collaboration and the reality of the distinct branches that minister beside us.
4.2. We will encourage the creation of shared formation programs that will result in a common commitment.
4.3. In collaboration with the other branches of the Vincentian Family we will propose projects oriented toward integral human development.
4.4. We will accompany the young men and women in their process of vocational discernment so that they are able to identify the gifts that they have received and also able to engage in a process of transition from one branch to another.
5. CARE AND USE OF MATERIAL GOODS
Manage carefully the property of the poor and your own (CCD:X:245)
You are stewards of creation but not masters (Pope Francis, Address to the European Parliament, November 25, 2014)
5.1. We will encourage work and ministry that is done in the form of projects which in turn makes our service on behalf of the poor more effective.
5.2. We will encourage twinning which fosters mutual enrichment, fraternal relations and solidarity as experiences and material goods are exchanged.
5.3. We will promote transparency in our financial transactions so that we can give witness to ministry for the common good and a sense of co-responsibility.
5.4. The International Council will provide the National Councils with a model for financial reporting that utilizes percentages.
Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity … do not neglect the gift you have received (1 Timothy 4:12, 14).